Mo Farah, a double Olympic and world champion, told the BBC that he was transported to Britain from Djibouti at the age of nine and made to perform housekeeping and childcare in return for food.

The 39-year-old British national, who was born in Somalia, stated that his identity had been changed from Hussein Abdi Kahin to Mohamed Farah in the fraudulent travel papers used to transport him to Britain by a lady he had never seen before.

When he landed in the UK, the lady led him to her house in Hounslow, west London, and tore up a piece of paper with the contact information for his family. Her family did not allow him to attend school until he was 12 years old.

“For years I just kept blocking it out, but you can only block it out for so long,” he said in the BBC documentary, which will air this week.

“Often I would just lock myself in the bathroom and cry. The only thing I could do to get away from this (living situation) was to get out and run.”

After Farah informed his physical education instructor about his situation, Alan Watkinson contacted social services and assisted him in finding a foster home among the Somali community.

“I felt like a lot of stuff was lifted off my shoulders, and I felt like me. That’s when Mo came out – the real Mo,” Farah said.

“I had no idea there was so many people who are going through exactly the same thing that I did. It just shows how lucky I was.

“What really saved me, what made me different, was that I could run.”

He suggested in May that his professional track career could be done after finishing second in the London 10,000 meter event and ruling out competing in this month’s World Championships. more info

Farah, who won the 5,000 and 10,000 meters double at the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, will race a marathon for the first time since 2019 when he competes in the London Marathon in October.

Source: Reuters

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